Butterfield Introduces Bipartisan Bill Addressing Racial Disparities, Social Determinants of Health, and Maternal Mortality

Jul 20, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) and Congressman John Joyce, M.D. (PA-13) introduced the Care That’s Fair Act of 2021.  The bill will empower states, through grant funding from the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), to utilize medical claims, clinical data, and social data to address racial disparities, social determinants of health, and maternal and infant mortality.

“There is no denying there is a health disparities crisis in our country,” said Congressman Butterfield.  “Patients in minority, rural, and underserved communities experience higher incidences of disease and worse health outcomes than their peers.  We know there isn’t a single cause for this disparity, but rather, many factors that contribute to the health of an individual.  All of those factors should be taken into account when the patient is receiving care.  The Care That’s Fair Act will empower state Medicaid agencies to use claims, clinical data, and social data to identify high risk patients, ensure they are receiving appropriate and necessary care, and develop innovative prevention and care management plans.  I am proud to join Dr. Joyce in introducing this critical bill, which will help improve care, reduce health disparities, and save lives in our districts and across the country.”

“This important legislation would provide states with the resources that they need to effectively measure Medicaid health care outcomes,” said Dr. Joyce. “Thank you to Congressman Butterfield for his work to ensure that this data is gathered effectively so that we can address critical issues in our health care system and improve outcomes for all patients. I am proud to join him in co-sponsoring the Care that’s Fair Act to find solutions to critical challenges, especially preventing maternal and infant mortality, as well as improving the social determinants of health.”

Background

The Care That’s Fair Act will create a three-year CMS grant program for state Medicaid programs.  The grant program will support measuring variations in Medicaid health care outcomes and utilization to address racial disparities, social determinants of health, and maternal and infant mortality.  The bill will allow states to analyze their Medicaid claims and clinical data to compare clinically similar patients, identify where disparities exist and their root causes.  It will require states to publicly summarize the information learned and use it to design a five-year action plan.  States must apply for the grants with requirements set by the CMS Administrator.  A state may not receive more than one grant per year and no grant can exceed $500,000.

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